“St. Thomas Aquinas” appears on “Altar von San Domenico in Ascoli, Polyptychon,” painted by Carlo Crivelli (circa 1435-circa 1495) in 1476. It is currently located in the National Gallery in London. (Public Domain/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Thomas so shocked his noble Italian family when he entered the Dominicans about 1244 that his brothers imprisoned him for a year. But he would not yield, and studied under St. Albert the Great, becoming a master of theology in 1256.

For the rest of his brief life, the “dumb ox,” as he was dubbed, taught, preached and wrote, producing the monumental “Summa Theologica.”

His thinking became influential in later centuries and he was named a Doctor of the Church in 1567.

He is patron of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and School in Avondale.